Look who’s coming to the Royal Ontario Museum: Deepak Chopra. What were they thinking when they invited that pompous fraud to speak?
World renowned teacher, author and philosopher Deepak Chopra presents his latest concepts in the field of mind-body medicine bridging the technological miracles of the West with the wisdom of the East. He will show you how your highest vision of yourself can be turned into physical reality and discuss how you can become a living cell within the body of a living universe. You don’t join the cosmic dance – you become the dance. Deepak will address the deeper meaning of our existence including: What is our true nature? What is the meaning and purpose of our existence? How can I transform myself? How can I make a better world? Deepak explains how the greatest spiritual secrets are tied up in this simple answer: You can’t change the body without changing the self, and you can’t change the self without bringing in the soul. He explains, “It’s all one process, and it begins with knowing that your body exists to mirror who you are and who you want to be.”
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 56 books translated into over 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and non-fiction categories. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management and Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization. Time magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.” For more information visit: www.deepakchopra.com
Location: Convocation Hall, 31 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto
Cost: Price: Ground VIP: $175, Rise Area: $89, 1st Balcony: $69, 2nd Balcony: $49, Behind Stage: $25
There isn’t one thing in that block of fluff that interests me in the slightest — it’s all noise by a charlatan. But oh, man, look what he’s charging! If anyone goes or has an opportunity to work backstage at the hall, please take a photo of the “Ground VIP” section: if I were in Toronto, I’d want to know who the chief airheads in the region were, and that’s a fine starting point.
Porco Dio says
why is it that 80% of deepak’s audience is female?
(my sister told me so)
Steven Mading says
Make up your mind, Time. Is he a top hero or is he a prophet of alternative medicine? They are incompatible concepts. Someone who profits in spreading dishonest bullshit that gets people killed is not a hero.
Glen Davidson says
Nah, Canada’s had it too good for too long.
Watch their earthquake damage skyrocket.
Brownian, OM says
Does Toronto deserve Deepak?
Now that’s an interesting topic for the ethicists.
Blake Stacey says
Did anybody ever find where Time magazine actually said this?
Nerd of Redhead, OM says
Now, PZ, don’t restrain yourself, I would say chief vacuum heads, since there is almost nothing there. ;)
If you had just got yourself into Woo instead of science and truth you could have been rich and kept the trophy wife in the style that she deserves
Blake Stacey says
I ask because the last time this came up, it transpired that Time picked a top 100 people of the century, 20 of which were “heroes and icons”, and nowhere on that list or the top-100 list in general was Chopra. The “top 100 heroes and icons” list, for all anybody could tell, was mythical.
How can you say you don’t want to be a living cell within the body of a living universe? Isn’t that on everyone’s bucket list, right after kissing the Blarney Stone?
Sioux Laris says
There7s a $1000/plate dinner as well. Vegetarian tripe, followed by trifle – served up in dozens of almost identical ways!
Deepak?? at the ROM??? They must be joking. They had the Darwin exhibit there and Pro. Dawkins was there too, and now they are inviting Deepak???!!!!!!
How can they reconcile science with pseudoscience, or frankly stupidity? Deepak is a philosopher, what??? He studied medicine, not philosophy, if anybody talks about philosophical ideas or write books about them, s/he becomes a philosopher?? neglecting the fact that his “philosophy” is non-sense.
Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says
The Woo Master General was on Colbert last night. My attention drifted off. At least that was free. Um, well, there is the charge for cable. But I like to think that the money is spread out.
Every goddamn single time, mainstream repetition of nonsense makes it true and respectable.
I really can’t wait for the day when fucksticks like Chopra are locked up for spreading lies about medicine. The entire alternative “medicine” community needs to be completely dismantled, and people need to understand that if something isn’t accepted by the mainstream medical community, that’s because it DOESN’T FUCKING WORK.
Welcome to the Borg collective. Resistance is futile.
Alan Fox says
My daughter, who has recently presented her parents with books by the Dalai Lama, has also told me That I should read up on Deepak Chopra. I wonder if Professor Myers is suggesting that Mr Chopra is not exactly the source of enlightment that she hopes I will find him to be.
Should I send her his link?
David Marjanović says
The prices. The prices… <faint>
Because patriarchal cultures expect women to be into all that emotion stuff, woo included. On the one hand, those who really are into this get away with it more easily than men; on the other, those who are not so far into it get some peer pressure.
Live mental masturbation! On stage! Do the people in front have to bring plastic and umbrellas like at a Gallagher show?
I hate this (medical related) crap:
* Thinking positive or happy thoughts will make a disease or medical condition go away.
* If you eat the right foods or take megadoses of the right multivitamin you won’t ever get sick or your serious medical condition will be cured.
* The Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) ideology (not to be confused with science-based); which is to medical care what Libertarianism is to Economics.
Something doesn’t add up. Convocation Hall is certainly big enough for anyone to speak in, but it is not part of the Royal Ontario Museum. It is part of U of Toronto.
Regardless, the seats at Con Hall are so uncomfortable, you wouldn’t want to listen to anyone there really, IIRC.
“Concepts” and a buck fifty will get you a small coffee at the nearest Starbucks. Where are his theories? What is his evidence?
recovering catholic says
Chopra was on the Colbert Report last night and I was disappointed with how gentle Stephen was with him. Interestingly though, I thought Chopra still came across as a pompous airhead.
Can someone with a few minutes to spare fix this Wikipedia entry?
However, the references on the same page don’t even support that claim:
8^ a b c d e Business Wire, Chopra Receives the Life of Maverick Award at Cinequest 2010, February 2, 2010 
13^ a b c d e Burton, Rosamund. “Peace Seeker”. Nova Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
I think they need to reverse the charges on this one.
Aren’t they all fiction?
MaxMD: true that. But ROM is sponsoring his talk, which is being held at Con Hall.
bleh, as someone who attends U of Toronto, I’m embarrassed to see the name of my college associated in any way with Chopra.
“You don’t just join the cosmic dance – you become the dance.”
Aside from being vacuous claptrap from the outset… even within the context of just that sentence — what the hell is that supposed to even mean?
The massive scale of deception by mainstream media when reporting on Chopra is astounding.
That spiel was hilarious. “Become the dance.” Nobody’s going there that isn’t a rube, with no offense meant towards the parents of said rubes.
Deepak is a complete mystery to me. Trying to decipher his message is like deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs: to be sure there are experts out there who can do it, but I’m not one of them. I once suffered through one of his interminable speeches, and after he finished I was quite convinced that what I just heard was pure unadulterated gobbledygook; however, a large portion of the audience must have felt different, as they enthusiastically applauded him. I was more baffled by the audience’s cheerful response than I was by any of the cryptic utterances of Deepak.
First time I heard of him was last night on Colbert Nation. I took one look at the title and brief description on Amazon and decided my time would be better spent reading something else.
I think the Colbert interview was just about right – by not appearing to be in any way hostile, Colbert let Chopra blather and pontificate and spout nonsense with such a self-satisfied manner as to show him up for the arrogant idiot he is. Sometimes one just has to supply the rope.
RE: Can someone with a few minutes to spare fix this Wikipedia entry?
Good luck. It took months and eventual arbitration to get the spurious assertion that, “Most scholars regard the arguments for Jesus’ non-existence as unworthy of any response—on a par with claims that the Jewish Holocaust never occurred or that the Apollo moon landing took place in a Hollywood studio.” removed from the Christ Myth Theory entry on Wikipedia.
Granted, the fact that there is no historical evidence for Jesus’s existence doesn’t necessarily mean such a person didn’t exist but it’s not on par with Holocaust denial. Besides, we know a person with magical supernatural powers named Jesus never existed; because magical supernatural powers do not exist.
The other day, a co-worker of mine asked if I could rip some books on CD and put them on his Ipod. I said sure. One of the CDs he handed me was a book by Deepak. I facepalmed.
Does Toronto deserve Chopra? Yes, yes they do.
Love from the West Coast.
“Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 56 books translated into over 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and non-fiction categories.”
Deepak Chopra writes non-fiction? I think not!
Last I checked, there actually isn’t anything that can keep me from being part of the universe. All the bits of stuff that comprise my body were present in the Big Bang and will drift off to form other stuff once I’m no longer using them.
There, do I get the exorbitant speakers’ fees now?
I prefer “Be the ball” over “Become the dance” if I had to choose a philosophy of life.
I call your meaningless drivel and raise you with vagueness masquerading as profundity:
“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.” -Buddha
Joey Mack says
Deepak is a decent guy who had the unfortunate experience of hanging out with the Maharishi too long. He tries to get all sciencey and talk about occam’s razor and infinite quantum states because he feels bad about his past.
7/11 Deepak is behind the counter and greets you as you check-out.
D: good day sir. Ahh I see you’ve purchased our special “Miracles from the West Wisdom from the East”. Would you like a slushy with that?
What Miracles from the West??? And what Wisdom?
First the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and now this! My hometown is becoming Wooville.
Toronto is pretty woo-heavy. If you keep track of all the Chiropractic shops, the fortune tellers, the giant Naturopathic thing at Sheppard and Leslie, Chinese medicine, homeopathic and “natural” cure shops… it becomes overwhelming.
There’s steady market for this stuff here, evidently.
Crudely Wrott says
wisdom of east?
what is this?
you . . .
eat wisdom of east?
Well, I am a bit peckish just now, but . . . wait!
Doesn’t some of that Eastern Inscrutability imply that in my next life I will be a nematode just for not taking something seriously in this life? To teach me how to take something seriously in a life yet to come? Seriously?
Welcome to the Borg collective. Resistance is futile.
Margaret, that is funny! Seems so, almost.
yet wait until the christian fundamentalists realize that while science and logic do not make sense, deepak does speak the same language that they do – namely: the farther removed from reality it is, the likelier it is to make sense!
Deepupchuck actualy represents a grave threat to the devoutly insipid because his reasoning is indistinguishable(sic spelling) from theirs. Thus, there is the grave threat christians and upchokras will interbreed based on their mutual attraction to temporal ignorance. This will lead to the development of a new subculture based on a combination of pagen/chopratic and religious vehemence towards pragmatism and common sense.
Ultimately this union of intellectually retarded philosophies will lead to dramatic leaps in the disability to corespond with basic laws of physics and finally the whole population unwittingly following their mesiah off a cliff and plunging to sheeplike death after he assures them that up is down if you only properly align your conciousness with the principle of quantum undirectionality, ie have faith in G.O.D.(good orderly direction).
I thought it was really unfortunate how easy Colbert was on Deepak. I was expecting the treatment Dawkins and other reputable scientists get on those shows. Did you see what the Daily Show did to Dan Barker? They made him out to look like a jerk for going against the Mother Teresa stamp a few months ago. I was listening to the FFRF radio show and he said he was recently interviewed for the show, so I was excited to see it.
I guess that’s how it goes…
Not too bad of a profit, I wonder how come Stephen Pinker let everyone come into the new minneapolis public library a few years back and listen to his lecture for free?
Pikemann Urge says
The problem with Dan Barker is not that he’s wrong – it’s just that he had no PR skills to speak of. Unless he’s improved in the past few years. This is the guy, after all, who said (and probably still says) that Christianity “stole” Christmas from the pagans. Not so – Christmas was just adopted and melded to fit with the Gospels’ birth narratives.
Who knew that rational people take cheap shots at their opposition?
Mother Teresa is most definitely not good enough to be anything like a role model. But everyone actually knows this – notice how few people actually imitate her way of life? She’s praised with words but even most believers subconsciously know to stay away from imitating her.
False Prophet says
@Teshi, #43, you forgot that eyesore on Yonge and St. Mary.
This is normally where, in accordance with southern Ontario civic rivalry, I’d mock Hogtown, but seeing as Hamilton had the misfortune of hosting Sarah Palin last month, let’s just commiserate.
Scrawny Kayaker says
You’re not being the ball, Deepak.
Scrawny Kayaker says
Just yesterday I heard someone on the radio complaining about the debasement of the word “hero.” I agreed with their definition: a hero is someone who altruistically risks real danger to help others. Simply being admirable and/or famous (“or” in this case) doesn’t cut it.
I’ll give him “icon.” An almost perfect symbol of pompous, hollow bloviating, as well as either self-delusion or cynicism.
Favorite part of the Colbert interview: After rattling off a number of woo therapies to cure Colbert’s tennis elbow, Chopra began talking about the concept of the Shadow. Colbert made a clear and detailed reference to the Portrait of Dorian Gray. Chopra heard him out and then icily asked if Colbert would like the Shadow explained to him. Colbert could only grin into the camera.
#23: While I’m not a fan of Deepak, both of the links do mention the Time 100 heroes and icons/”poet-prophet” thing. (That’s not to say it’s true, just that the cited articles *do* mention it.)
Denizens of Western Canada who say that Toronto deserves the Choprawoo, I have bad news: he’s coming to Vancouver too, and at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre no less. I had the advertisement for it (off the top of The Province no less), but it seems to have been lost…
I dug around a bit on the Time Magazine quote.
The two references from wikipedia both mention this “Top 100 Icons & Heroes” thing and says it took place in 1999.
A search on Time’s website easily uncovers the issue (June 14, 1999) and the article itself. However, I can’t seem to find Deepak anywhere on the list.
What is the meaning and purpose of our existence? – To breed more of us.
How can I transform myself? – You can’t. Not in the sense that HE means anyway.
How can I make a better world? – You can’t.
You can’t change the body without changing the self, and you can’t change the self without bringing in the soul – Bullshite.
It’s all one process, and it begins with knowing that your body exists to mirror who you are and who you want to be – More Bullshite.
“He will show you how your highest vision of yourself can be turned into physical reality”
Hmmm…I’ve always thought Halle Berry was breathtaking, but maybe I wasn’t concentrating hard enough on my vision…Let me try again……..Wait…………….Wait………….Wait………………………………………………….Nope, I still look like a squishy fire plug.Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
De-crackpot Chopra- master of the woo-niverse…dickhead.
Alice Shortcake says
If anyone feels like giving the ROM a (polite) piece of their mind:
It’s disgusting to see a museum giving this charlatan a platform from which he can spout his highly lucrative New-Age-drivel-with-a-few-sciencey-words-thrown-in.
Damn. The ROM is a great museum; do they need the money that bad?
No, they apparently don’t need the money that bad, as they can’t even host the event within their own building.
I’m unsure of whether to feel worse that the Museum organized this lecture, that the University of Toronto is hosting it or that the City of Toronto is afflicted with the presence of Chopra at all.
Blake Stacey says
“While I’m not a fan of Deepak, both of the links do mention the Time 100 heroes and icons/”poet-prophet” thing. (That’s not to say it’s true, just that the cited articles *do* mention it.)”
If they’re not actually from Time magazine, they don’t really count, do they? At that point, why not just have the Wikipedia article cite itself?
Doug Little says
Dammit, Where’s my steak knives!
There is a link to an article in Time that talks about his $15-million a year profits, slim digestible books, and ever-growing smooth confidence.
My pricy family membership at the ROM is up for renewal; I will just have to decline and tell them why.
Please forgive any weird characters. My keyboard has decided Ièm French since I clicked on Café Scientifique even though I have turned off “pick keyboard language from surrounding text.”
They probably need the money because of the lack of funding for their previous Darwin exhibit.
“Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 56 books translated into over 35 languages…”
The fact that this guy’s written 56 books should be a huge red flag as to the quality of his message, wouldn’t you think? Anyone who has produced this many books is surely not including in them the most thoughtful and high quality content. It’s amazing to me that so many of his followers appear to find this an asset.
Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad says
In fairness Isaac Asimov wrote 515 books in his life. Many were high quality.
Needless to say however, Chopra is no Asimov.
“You can’t change the body without changing the self, and you can’t change the self without bringing in the soul.”
BWAHAHA! He’s going to be flogging diet books! It’s not about “spiritual” stuff at all – the whole point of the excercise is to “change the body”. No need for that tiresome diet and exercise, just burn some candles and think good thoughts.
Needless to say however, Chopra is no Asimov.
lol, sorry, but I just HAVE to…